Brian's Photo Blog — Article 623
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Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
Monday 30 January 2017   —   Category: Outings
In the middle of my McMenamins Port­land southwest suburbs pub crawl last week, I took a detour to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge along Oregon Route 99W.

It was only a mile and quarter northeast from my final stop at the McMenamins Sher­wood Pub in the city of Sherwood, in the Tualatin Valley on the south­west­ern edge of the Portland metro area.

I arrived around 1:30, after a delicious lunch at the McMenamins John Bar­ley­corns Brewpub about seven miles up the road. I wanted to get some fresh air, en­joy nature, and walk off my lunch before indulging in some dessert.

During the next hour and a half I hiked about two miles of winter trails at the Re­fuge. Along the way I saw lots of ducks and Canada geese, a couple of great blue her­ons and bald eagles, and an American coot, as well as some fel­low human visitors.

Most of the Refuge is closed between Oc­to­ber 1 and April 30 in order to “pro­tect” the wildlife, which makes it quite difficult to fully appreciate the Refuge. Only the trails marked in white and yel­low on the map to the right are open all year long.

Following those paths, I walked all the way to the Wetland Observation Deck and the Ridgetop Overlook. Somehow I failed to notice that there was an ad­di­tion­al trail to the Photo Blind, so I didn’t get to see that section.

Still, I very much enjoyed the little bit of the Refuge that I was allowed to ex­pe­ri­ence. Particularly interesting were the two bald eagles perched high in a tree near the Ridgetop Overlook. These pred­a­tors seemed to be eyeing the thousands of ducks below. Perhaps they were try­ing to choose the plumpest specimens for their next meal.

On the way back to the parking lot I was approaching a large flock of geese on the ground. Right as I was at my closest and about to photograph them, a woman was approaching them on one of the for­bid­den, closed trails. Either she was an air-​head or rebellious, but the result was the same: the geese were frightened and be­gan taking flight.

I quickly snapped some photos, then gave a severe look towards the woman, shaking my head in disgust at the in­trud­er. However, even though she was great­ly disturbing the “protected” geese, her actions led to some good shots which I would otherwise not have gotten. So I benefitted even though the birds did not.

During my 90-minute visit I took a total of 112 photos. The best 37, including a hand­ful of cropped close-ups as well as a 13-​image, 180° panorama, are now available for viewing in the new Tualatin River Wild­life Refuge 2017 album.

Brian's Photo Blog — Article 623
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